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Another average Dreamworks Animations film...
on 13 March 2006
Dreamworks Animation just can't deliver on the promise of the Shrek films. They're lacklustre attempts seem to involve getting a star cast and peppering the movie with in-jokes and pop culture references.
What they seem to forget is a plotline, and decent humour. However, Madagascar is a slightly better attempt than previous efforts, thanks to a quirky cast of characters.
The plotline sees the animals leaving Central Park zoo for the Wild, where they meet a bunch of party animals, have a fight with some carnivores, and, erm, that's about it.
There are some quite funny sight gags and slapstick, but most of the one-liners (apart from "the toilets even have free mints!") are bland, and the pop-culture references just boring. Light relief, though, is had by the excellent, scheming penguins, as they try to go to the North Pole - and the pay-off of this sub-plot is the best gag in the movie.
The animation favours stylised cartoon, rather than Pixar-level of detail, so while colourful and quirky, looks a little flash and no substance. A bit like the characters. The promising beginning of actual character arcs never quite fulfilled.
But this is a cartoon? Am I being too harsh? Well, who said cartoons are just for kids - these days, adults should expect to get something out of them too. Just don't expect it from this film. Kids, will love it though, unfortunately!